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The Phantom Clowns

Updated on June 20, 2015

What is it about clowns? And people who wanna dress like clowns?
May 6, 1981. The police began fielding numerous complaints about someone in a clown costume harassing the children of Brookline, Massachusetts, an exclusive suburb of Boston. Then several men.One of the perpetrators was "wearing a clown suit ONLY from the waist up, from the waist down he was nude." Two clowns tried to lure a child into a black van using candy,
The clowns spread all over Boston; the surrounding towns and suburbs. Police began stopping birthday party clowns and other clown related businesses to no avail. No arrests were made. The Boston Public School District advised that it "...has been brought to the attention of the police department and the district office that adults dressed as clowns have been bothering children to and from school..." and "students that they must say away from strangers, especially ones dressed as clowns."


The clown sightings spread to the mid-west.
These "Phantom Clowns" sightings were no childish hallucinations or urban legend. Plenty of adults saw them, too. On May 22ed, in Kansas City, Missouri "[Police] chased a "knife-wielding clown in a yellow van that had been reported at six different elementary schools" Later that same day, a mother saw a similar yellow van roll up to the bus stop where her children waited. Whoever was inside spoke to her two daughters. The children told their mother that a man dressed as a clown and carrying a knife ordered them inside. The police received dozens of similar reports - of a clown in a yellow van.
Reports came in from Omaha and Denver and In June "Pittsburgh, PA, two men in clown suit ,once again in a van, were harassing school children."

A dozen more in 1990-1991

And there are still phantom sighting to this very day

Finchberg, Wisconsin. June 2000, Police reported, "A man dressed in a complete clown costume and holding three helium balloons tried to lure children into woods near the King James Court apartments, at about 12:30 PM Monday." And " the man's black face paint set him apart from any of the three mainstream styles of clown costumery...extremely, extremely unique...It isn't in the legitimate style of clowning, which kind of leads us to believe the person was using it as a costume only for this purpose (enticement)."


In Chicago, October 2008 a man wearing described as wearing either "a clown mask or clown make-up, a painted tear-drop on his cheek and a wig" used balloons to try and lure to lure children into his vehicle. The children fled and called 911. Several more clowns, both in vehicles and on foot, were seen in the area, according to the police.
Then there's the Northhampton, UK clown. First seen in Late summer 2013. The clown "...doesn't speak. It doesn't juggle. It has balloons but doesn't hand them out." Sometimes it carried a clown teddy bear.


It was just...there. As the Huffington Post headlined "Northampton Clown Terrorizes English Town Just By Standing Around." Which isn't that difficult for a clown to do, There's even a name for it. Coulrophobia- phobia of clowns.
Thankfully, no child has ever been abducted or injured by one of these people." It's as if the goal was to only scare people and not actually physically harm anyone"


sources: Belekurov, S. M. "RETURN OF THE PHANTOM CLOWNS (WEIRD BUT TRUE)." The SPIRIT Seekers. N.p., 13 Oct. 2010. Web. 11 June 2015. <>.

Conjure, Doc. N.p., 15 June 2009. Web. 10 June 2015. <>.

Murdock, Sebastien. Huffington Post, 16 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 June 2015.


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